Miscellaneous Essays: Second Series (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 2016 M06 27 - 332 páginas
Excerpt from Miscellaneous Essays: Second Series

Recognised abuses to be removed enormous grievances to be redressed shameful oppressions to be cancelled and rights long and cruelly withheld to be conferred. There might be danger in all these changes; but the changes were rendered necessary by decency and justice; and the necessity was clearly seen. The old theories of government and society were to be swept away, but the new ones had been long ready to take their place. Men might be mistaken as to the value of the objects they had at heart, and might overestimate the advantages which were to flow from their attainment; but they had no doubt or confusion as to what theset objects were. They knew what they wanted. The enthusiasm of the reformers might be irrational, and their faith fanatical but they had a faith and an enthusiasm as earnest as ever carried martyrs unflinching to the stake. They had a new political framework to construct, but they had the constituent elements of that framework ready to their hand: they had an existing though a damaged monarchy; they had an aristocracy, frivolous, corrupt, and haughty, but still retaining some of the better elements of nobility within its bosom, and num bering many generous and worthy men among its ranks and they had a tiers-aat, indignant at past op pressions, thirsting for the promised freedom, energetic, trusting, simple, and with a loyalty not yet utterly extinguished. The court, the clergy, the high nobility were discredited and corrupt; but corruption had not yet penetrated the heart of the common people. They had a hard task to fulfil, but the means of its-ac.

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